Rabbi Berel Wein

Offering ourselves and our ego

Offering ourselves and our ego

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, said that the idea of sacrifice was that the person bringing the offering should see his own self as being the sacrifice. , 26/03/2020 11:03
Going to a cantorial concert

Going to a cantorial concert

One of the most interesting things that I noted while attending this concert is the contrast between the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which I attended for years, and this cantorial concert. , 15/03/2020 06:39
Monetary scandals

Monetary scandals

I need not and will not enumerate specific examples of this weakness, but all of us are aware of their existence and sad influence..., 27/02/2020 10:07
Mishpatim: A brutal acknowledgement of human weakness

Mishpatim: A brutal acknowledgement of human weakness

Mishpatim's legal penal code is based on the worst behavior and attitudes of human beings., 19/02/2020 21:04
The outsider

The outsider

Generally, people ignore and even resent the comments and opinions of outsiders on internal or domestic matters. Not Moshe., 13/02/2020 12:37
Miracles in all sizes

Miracles in all sizes

It is obvious that for things to go right – simply what we call normal life – countless minor miracles must take place., 06/02/2020 08:30
Human stubborness and futility

Human stubborness and futility

The Talmud teaches us that people who are completely evil, based on previous behavior and actions, are incapable of repenting and choosing wisely, even when they stand on the precipice of hell itself.  , 02/02/2020 09:14
The four words of redemption

The four words of redemption

The use of different verbs to indicate the advent of the promised deliverance from Egyptian bondage indicates a process - and we are in the midst of it., 23/01/2020 07:26
Why Moshe, of all people

Why Moshe, of all people

Most leaders are eventually undone by the growth of their egos and the resulting arrogance.  Not so Moshe., 20/01/2020 00:00
Walking the dog

Walking the dog

Dogs were not popular with Jews in the past because they were used in anti-Semitic pogroms to attack Jews and to ferret out those who were in hiding, 12/01/2020 10:57
Vayeshev:  Actors in a drama

Vayeshev: Actors in a drama

Everyone involved in the story of Joseph seemingly follows his own individual course of action, but the result is a historic change in the dynamics of the family and the trajectory of Jewish history., 19/12/2019 12:31
When a righteous person departs

When a righteous person departs

Is it really true that when a righteous person leaves it is an indelible loss to his community? Don't they just go on with their routine after a short period of time?, 04/12/2019 16:17
Do individuals affect history?

Do individuals affect history?

In the book of Genesis, the Torah emphasizes to us that history and great events spring forth from the actions of individuals, 12/11/2019 11:58
The rainbow

The rainbow

The rainbow has great significance to humanity and is not to be observed and thought of as being merely another of the great many phenomena that we call nature. , 04/11/2019 11:26
Measuring time

Measuring time

Now that the holidays are over, how do we greet the months ahead?, 22/10/2019 10:03
Haazinu: Jewish angst

Haazinu: Jewish angst

There appears to be a continuing and gnawing frustration and feeling of dissatisfaction that is present in Jewish society, no matter how great our material blessings and social successes are. , 10/10/2019 12:50
Constantly growing - Vayelech

Constantly growing - Vayelech

The greatness of our teacher Moshe lies in the fact that until the last day of his life he was actively pursuing his goals. , 04/10/2019 07:27
Dinosaurs and phones

Dinosaurs and phones

I am blissfully unable to text or receive texts, cannot take pictures, cannot record conversations or lectures or face time using my prehistoric phone., 17/07/2019 07:16
Great people can be wrong, even when they are Jewish

Great people can be wrong, even when they are Jewish

The Jewish people traditionally are hasty people. New ideas capture them and to a certain extent, cause a type of mass hysteria that blindsides them., 23/06/2019 12:14
Raise your head and be counted

Raise your head and be counted

The Torah abhors slackers., 12/06/2019 16:05
Nationhood and freedom - two concepts, two holidays

Nationhood and freedom - two concepts, two holidays

Why Shavuot is the holiday of nationhood., 06/06/2019 12:59
Bamidbar (Israel): Numerical standstill

Bamidbar (Israel): Numerical standstill

Numerically speaking, in comparison to the numbers in this week's reading, the Jewish census has been at pretty much of a standstill over all of these long centuries,, 29/05/2019 16:00
Behar (for Israel): Being Jewish requires spiritual mountain climbing

Behar (for Israel): Being Jewish requires spiritual mountain climbing

Life is never smooth or easy – a flat plain, simple to traverse. Rather, it is always an uphill climb that many times leaves us short of breath and doubtful of hope. (Parashat Behar is read in Israel this Shabbat)., 15/05/2019 21:40
Kedoshim: No shortcuts to holiness

Kedoshim: No shortcuts to holiness

The sheer number of commandments that govern every aspect of Jewish life emphasizes to us the proportion of the task that lies before us., 28/04/2019 08:24
No guarantee in matters of desire: Acharei Mot

No guarantee in matters of desire: Acharei Mot

There is no guarantee or guardian for human beings when it comes to matters of desire and physical sexuality - which is the reason for detailed Torah strictures on the issue. , 25/04/2019 15:51
Education for altriuism is a long process

Education for altriuism is a long process

The Torah is aware of the difficulty of coercing altruism on the part of human beings., 25/03/2019 12:00
Purim always

Purim always

The fixation of the rest of the world on the Jewish people and Judaism is one of the great inexplicable mysteries of human existence., 19/03/2019 06:38
Childhood and the pursuit of holiness

Childhood and the pursuit of holiness

Holiness is something that human beings must create. It is ephemeral and intangible, difficult to define and yet it can be glimpsed and experienced., 15/03/2019 07:51
Population statistics - there is no Judaism without Jews

Population statistics - there is no Judaism without Jews

In order for Judaism and its value system to continue to operate and be of influence in world society, there must be a physical Jewish people. The Jews are counted often in the Torah., 24/02/2019 06:23
The eternal light

The eternal light

There are two forms of eternity in human affairs and history., 17/02/2019 07:53
Mute testimony

Mute testimony

Wherever synagogue buildings existed, the Jewish community was able to bring forth generations and remain vital and productive. , 10/02/2019 12:56
The pessimists among us

The pessimists among us

The rabbis stated it in a pithy manner in the Talmud: “is it not sufficient that one is alive?" , 31/01/2019 07:37
Validation from non-Jews

Validation from non-Jews

It has always been that the Jewish people craved validation from the outside world for principles and beliefs that we know to be valid and correct but with which we feel uncomfortable unless others are willing to agree with us on these matters., 27/01/2019 09:04
Food from heaven

Food from heaven

In spite of it being an obvious gift directly from heaven, or perhaps ironically, because it was such an obvious gift from heaven, the Jewish people tended to grumble about it. Why? , 22/01/2019 07:59
Using psychology in dealing with Pharaoh

Using psychology in dealing with Pharaoh

Pharaoh's behavior is illogical, unrealistic and self-destructive., 09/01/2019 21:22
Heaven answers always with a non-sequitur.

Heaven answers always with a non-sequitur.

The questions are better left unasked., 06/01/2019 16:59
Shmot: Why did G-d choose someone with a checkered past?:

Shmot: Why did G-d choose someone with a checkered past?:

Things never happen the way we think they should happen. The people who lead us are not always the people who we think we should lead us., 26/12/2018 13:07
Vayechi: The end of an era

Vayechi: The end of an era

This is a paradigm, an example for all Jewish history and life., 19/12/2018 07:10
MIketz: Pharaoh does not realize he is the center of a drama

MIketz: Pharaoh does not realize he is the center of a drama

It is noteworthy to see how quickly Pharaqoh raises Joseph. He could just have said, "Well, thank you for the interpretation of the dream.", 07/12/2018 14:59
The loss of a beloved spouse

The loss of a beloved spouse

The past doesn't leave us, but it is those who look towards the future who continue to lead fruitful lives., 07/11/2018 08:37
Life lessons from the story of Creation

Life lessons from the story of Creation

The narrative contained in this week’s beginning portion of the Torah is not only a story of the past, but it is just as importantly a description of our present world and society, 05/10/2018 14:29
Feeling at home in the Sukkah

Feeling at home in the Sukkah

The rabbis always felt that a shack in Jerusalem was worthier and more protective than a great palace elsewhere., 27/09/2018 07:46
Haazinu:  Are you deaf to the message of Moses?

Haazinu: Are you deaf to the message of Moses?

I would think that by now the Jewish people would be aware that it is impossible, and even dangerous, to ignore the message of Moshe and of Jewish tradition., 20/09/2018 14:48
One day the students will remember what their teacher said long ago

One day the students will remember what their teacher said long ago

Moses, the greatest teacher of all time, knew that what he says will take many years to be understood., 13/09/2018 20:30
Standing strong and resilient

Standing strong and resilient

How is it that the Jewish people, not numerous and for the most of its history, powerless and stateless, has somehow been able to survive and even thrive?, 06/09/2018 09:58
Twenty five years since Oslo - a story of faded hopes

Twenty five years since Oslo - a story of faded hopes

The naysayers were silenced, if not pilloried and deplored -you had to believe that Arafat was another Mandela to be allowed to speak., 31/08/2018 07:20
The 20th century: What happened?

The 20th century: What happened?

The world that began the 20th century had vanished completely by the middle of that century., 20/08/2018 15:18
A judge can only judge by what his eyes allow him to see.

A judge can only judge by what his eyes allow him to see.

We are to realize that ultimate justice is most times beyond our abilities., 16/08/2018 13:40
Looking forward

Looking forward

Remembering past troubles and tragedies never completely inhibited us from looking forward., 14/08/2018 04:47
The Jewish People's propensity to make bad choices

The Jewish People's propensity to make bad choices

Geniuses are not necessarily the best of teachers because they cannot understand why the students are so dense and do not understand what is so patently obvious. , 08/08/2018 15:56
Vaetchanan: The two Ten Commandment texts

Vaetchanan: The two Ten Commandment texts

There is fascinating discussion over the centuries as to what the text that was inscribed on the tablets of stone actually stated. , 26/07/2018 12:34
After the fast

After the fast

After the fast day of mourning on the ninth day of Av come seven weeks of resilience and rehabilitation. , 22/07/2018 21:11
We cannot choose how we will be remembered

We cannot choose how we will be remembered

Often in human experience, individuals, even if they live long and productive lives with many different experiences and accomplishments, are nevertheless remembered and always associated with one individual situation and life altering decision., 06/07/2018 14:34
This three-week period

This three-week period

Today's State of Israel is a product of this three-week period, yet there are those who say we should cease mourning the Temple now that we have our own sovereignty. They are misguided., 04/07/2018 08:02
Moses' anger

Moses' anger

Moshe was subject to becoming angry at certain occasions during his 40-year leadership of the Jewish people. Which?, 14/06/2018 12:26
What happened to the  Conservative Movement?

What happened to the Conservative Movement?

What caused the decline of a movement that once was seen by many as a force, for good and for bad, in American Jewish society? , 13/06/2018 10:30